Your shopping cart is empty.

annexing front porch to a room

Sergey Shelukhin
February 16, 2019
last modified: February 16, 2019

We have an L-shaped front porch that we don't use, so its only effect is to make the room immediately behind it dark due to the roof over it. I'd like to annex most of it to that room; it won't add a lot of square footage but I mostly just want to add windows and get rid of the overhang blocking out the sun. I also realize it's not going to add much value to the house compared to the cost.

Wanted to find out if there are any pitfalls that you see with this idea; and if someone has an idea of a ballpark cost in a HCOL area (Seattle) - $5000? $25000? $55000? :)

So, the porch sits fully on the foundation, with crawlspace below and the attic above that are both already insulated; there are two pillars supporting the roof where the two new corners of the room are going to be. There's wiring in the wall that is to be knocked down, but no plumbing or ducts. So I figure the work is to build 3 new walls (2 with windows that don't need to open), knock down a section of a wall (lath & plaster unfortunately; the new walls should be drywall), extend the existing wiring, finish the inside (perhaps replace the floor? the porch floor is planks, not sure if one just puts carpet on top of that) and put siding on the outside.

The approximate plan:


Porch and pillars (o)


##########front door




|###### the room





|########|front door




|##### the room


Comments (14)

  • girl_wonder

    I'm having a hard time picturing this. I'm confused by the "drawing" you posted. Maybe upload a hand drawn picture?

    If you enclose the front porch, how will people get into the house? Will you add a stoop or ? How will this impact curb appeal? Since the room is dark, have you considered adding a skylight or two? That would probably be cheaper. (maybe 2-3K each, depending on how much work is involved). In terms of costs, I'd recommend getting a contractor to come out and give an estimate on-sight, since there may be variables we don't know. FWIW, my experience is that all remodeling is super expensive right now because there's a big demand (so labor prices are up) and the cost of materials is high ( due to all rebuilding after all the natural disasters. Plus those stupid tariffs are driving up costs. My roofer said it even impacts him. i.e. if he needs to buy a new truck, it's more $$$)

  • PRO

    Start from 55 k..............and call an architect. You need drawings and a permit in any scenario. Nobody can discern a thing from your "drawing" and at the very least post photos.

  • Sergey Shelukhin

    Here's the porch the way it looks now and a more clear drawing. I was assuming given that the load bearing structure, roof, foundation and insulation are all already there it's going to be cheaper :)

    I realize it will create and oddly shaped room, but it would actually be perfect for my desk nook (we use the room as an office), and provide natural light.

  • cat_ky

    The house wall is load bearing wall. You would need to have a beam engineered to carry the load there. This could be quite expensive, and is not a DIY job.

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    Generally it doesn’t benefit the house from the exterior or the interior...
  • Sergey Shelukhin

    Well, it would benefit me, which is the whole point ;) Right now my office is very dark despite facing south (you can see in the picture all the lights I have on in the middle of the day), and needs just a tiny bit more space. Are there some specific concerns about this or complexities I am missing? Also the house wall has the window that is basically as wide as the entire section of the wall...

  • girl_wonder

    Thanks. The diagram and pics are very helpful.(btw, did you mean to post a photo of your current office? I don't see it) Now I understand what you are trying to do, and why. I recommend calling a contractor (or a design/build guy/gal) to get an on-sight evaluation. I've been planning a remodel of my old house and have been surprised at some of the issues that arise. The foundation for the porch may not be up to code to support a room. If you have cement sidewalks next to that section of the porch, it makes pouring the new foundation tricky, so you either pay extra for that or consider tearing up the sidewalk, etc. An expert on-site can help identify all the issues.

  • rinq

    Don't do it. No balance in gained space and costs. But then again, that's my opinion. It's your home ;)

  • PRO

    No......... and if you insist, call an architect. You will need him, an a permit.

  • Jake The Wonderdog

    What was said above is absolutely correct:

    HALLETT & Co.

    "Generally it doesn’t benefit the house from the exterior or the interior..."

    You didn't get that, so let me expand on it:

    This is really a bad idea. I get it, you want more space, more light, etc... so perhaps you have the wrong house. Generally, if changes you want to make would fundamentally change a house - then you probably have the wrong house. Sell it and buy the one you want.

    The house, and the house within the neighborhood, have integrity of their own. Don't disrespect the house and the neighborhood by making modifications -particularly to the front of the home -- without any understanding of what you are doing.

    Talk to an architect with knowledge of older homes. I'm guessing from the photo that homes in your neighborhood are from the 1900 - 1920's but I suspect that your home might be a bit older. The L shaped porch generally had two doors - one into a front "parlor" for guests and one into the main part of the house. It may be possible to add skylights to the porch roof to allow light into the house without irrevocably f'ing up the house by enclosing the porch.

    Your response, "Well, it would benefit me, which is the whole point ;)..." is pretty telling - it's really not all about you. People with no knowledge or understanding of architecture shouldn't bastardize a structure on a whim - just because they can and they want to.

  • Jake The Wonderdog

    BTW: Looking at the photo, I also suspect that you have windows with low-e coatings that block a lot of light. Talk to a knowledgeable glass person about replacing the glass in specific windows with non-coated glass.

    I have low-e windows in my home (previous owner installed them) and I want to take a baseball bat to them. I have large S. facing windows, and even so the house is really dark.

  • ljptwt7
    Jake has a point about selling and getting a house you like. It may be way better financially. Since you don't have to sell/buy in a hurry, take time to find just the right house. Many people would consider your porch a selling feature. Unless there is a reason you don't want to move......
  • apple_pie_order

    Upwards of $55K. Call a contractor whose work you have seen. Also investigate a new window and/or skylight for your current office. Adding lighting is a popular thing to do in February when it's still dark and cloudy in much of the north.

  • Rosie One
    I looked at the photos and drawing. I am not a pro, but I suggest you add skylights or fix your light and space issue another way such as an interior renovation. Our home’s prior owners added skylights in key spots — we live in a dark wooded area - and it made all the difference in the world from what they said...and I love them - no light issues. I suggest you not mess with a complex expensive redo that eliminates a porch. A professional can help you identify other, better solutions.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun).